OUR YOGA TEACHERS
Co-Owner, Director of Yoga
Katie is a fifteen year devotional vinyasa teacher and teacher trainer of Shiva Rea’s lineage of Prana Vinaysa. Rooted in teaching a fluid, alignment based and dynamic flow class with rhythmic music and sounds she encourages you to connect with the natural breath of the universal life force- prana. Her classes correlate with the seasons, moon cycles and time of day, allowing an intuitive yet structured practice that leaves you bound to your inner guide, feeling connected to all beings and to a higher divinity. Deeply rooted in the basic principles of sadhana, pranayama and meditation, Katie encourages student to find their own paths in this journey through the roots of practice and following your inner guide. Katie had the privilege of living and teaching in Costa Rica for eight years before recently moving back to Colorado and opening two local business. In an open aired ocean-view studio, she found the importance of finding our energy connecting not only with each other, but with all things in this universe; finding this bond between all elements has driven Katie to continue sharing this passion with as many as possible through yoga, meditation and positive vibrations. Katie is a devoted wife and mother of three beautiful, fun loving and active boys who are passionately supportive and her true original tribe.
Co-Owner & Director of Apothecary and Tisanes
Honga started practicing her yoga when she had her restaurant of 28 years in Telluride. Physically and mentally she used Yoga to repair her body and her mind. Throughout her years as an avid skiier, climber, runner, mother and restaurateur, she found a home in yoga, bringing her to her breath, in the moment and calm throughout it all.
Honga emphasizes that the practice on the mat is a practice for everyday life. Injuries and surgeries have brought her more devotion to yoga which has been her savior in healing. Yoga has brought her patience and understanding getting her through obstacles with presence, grace and mobility!
Wanting to expand on the idea of living yoga, Honga has taken this path to join with Katie and the Ridgway Yoga Shala to help others find avenues to taking care of their own health. She passionately encourages others to discover things that support your health and compliment their life. The medicines of the earth such as teas, tisanes, food, elixirs, plant medicine and apothecary herbs are available to supplement your daily practice all under the deep guidance and nuturing care of her sweet energy.
Sara found yoga 23 years ago as a way to gain strength, flexibility, and quiet her mind. She started yoga as a diehard Bikram fan and soon after discovered the myriad of other options available. As an active person who loves kinesthetic movement she explored various vinyasa classes and ran down every rabbit hole of yoga available from Core Power yoga to yin to Iyengar, eventually discovering Anusara yoga. The heart opening and alignment focus of Anusara yoga beckoned her to a place of no return. Many hours flew by studying and retreating with various Anusara teachers where she began to unravel the many layers of the physical and mythological aspects of yoga within her. Lately her practice has brought her back to the foundational practice of Asthanga in the Mysore tradition at the Yoga Workshop. Her teaching style is slow and strong with an emphasis on alignment, opening and building strength. Her classes are an amalgamation of many lineages she has studied and focus on play in movement to find that moment where you can feel within every cell of your body that we are free and connected to the minutia that surrounds us.
After a few years of devoted practice at the Telluride Yoga Center, the positive changes in Shane's body and mind were undeniable. He and his wife Evie quit their jobs and traveled to India for yoga teacher training at the Shiva Yoga Peeth Ashram on the banks of the Ganges. Afterwards, they embarked on a year of travel and inner exploration. During that journey Shane completed a Yin Yoga training at the Myoshinji Zen Buddhist Temple in Kyoto, Japan, He began teaching yoga in Bali and France and finished his Yin Yoga training in London. Now back home in Colorado, Shane uses yoga to help people find optimum health and harmony in their bodies and minds.
Ally Crilly fell in love with yoga in 2002. The practice has opened her body and life in ways she thought impossible. Joining Body, mind, spirit and heart has provided healing and courage. Her studies have mostly been in the Anusara method but she is grateful for all the teachings. Always an eager student, she leads a weekly practice - a 3 hour exploration leading to a peak pose or poses. We help each other go deeper and all contribute discoveries along the way. She is grateful and honored to join the team at the Ridgway Yoga Shala.
Hansa guides and practices traditional Ashtanga yoga, as an apprentice of Annie Pace, in the lineage of Shri K Pattabhi Jois and Sri Krishnamacharya. What she shares is inevitably interwoven with Advaita Vedanta, as a devoted student of Carol (Radha) Whitfield, in the lineage of Swami Dayananda Saraswati, and as a devotee of Sri Mooji and Sri Ramana Maharshi.
‘To those who do not know the Self and to those who do, the body is the ‘I’. But to those who do not know the Self, the ‘I’ is bounded by the body; while to those who within the body know the Self, the ‘I’ shines boundless. Such is the difference between them.’ – Sri Ramana Maharshi
Audra Duke, LPC, RYT, has been teaching yoga since 2010 and studying / practicing for 18 years. She has practiced many forms of yoga though the style of Vinyasa, with its intriguing and rhythmic transitions from pose to pose, keenly continues to be the bulk of her day-to-day practice and informs her current teaching. Her classes blend unique and playful flow sequences with soft and gentle inquiry into one’s inner experience. Audra weaves her work in the field of psychology with her teaching to help create a compassionate space, inviting others to step into their own curiosity and wisdom. She encourages you to feel what you feel and experience the posture and the sensations while moving into deeper awareness. Audra is a lover of soulful exchanges, her dog, family and friends, running through the mountains, watching sunsets and sunrises and participating in everything in between.
Amy is a Colorado native, and moved to the San Juan Mountains in 1997 to ski. She has worked mainly as a nutrition counselor, and most specifically with parents and children. She has been practicing yoga for 17 years and is a Certified Meditation and Mindfulness Teacher through the McLean Meditation Institute. Her passion for meditation began after having 3 daughters, including twins, and realizing that good nutrition was only a part of health and wellness. Her life brought lessons that both demanded and blessed her with a more comprehensive approach. This comprehensive approach of the 8 limbs of yoga, nutrition, Ayurveda and community is a gift that she wishes to share with all who hope to cultivate balanced health, growth, relationships and connection. Amy’s meditation classes focus more on “techniques” than “traditions” with respect for all paths that lead to the top of the mountain!
Buddha was asked, "What have you gained from meditation?
He replied, "Nothing! However, Buddha said, let me tell you what I lost: Anger, Anxiety, Depression, Insecurity, Fear of Old age and Death."
Erika has been a dedicated yoga practitioner for over fifteen years. A gifted instructor, she received her 200 hr Yoga Alliance certification in Prana Vinyasa, with Monica Mesa & Katie Graves. Her playful, energetic classes are infused with music, poetry and a general celebration of all that is human. She believes strongly that through the practice of yoga, we are given the opportunity to be dropped right into the present moment, unifying body and mind (which of course were never separate anyway) – and that the real fun begins when we take this energy off of the mat and out into the world. Erika’s heart belongs in Ridgway and the surrounding mountains, and she finds no greater joy than in sharing her passion with her students, community and loved ones. When Erika is not teaching yoga, she is busy being a mom, writing poetry, working for a film festival and playing outside as often as possible.
Melanie brings 18 years of teaching experience to the practice of Yoga. Originally certified in Hatha Yoga at the Eldorado Mountain Ashram near Boulder, Colorado, she is also certified in Ashtanga Yoga by Richard Freeman. Her more recent studies have taken her towards the practice of Anusara Yoga for it's alignment benefits and positive approach to Yoga. She is the original founder of the Telluride Yoga Center which she sold in 2003 to start a family. Now living in beautiful Ridgway, Melanie shares her talent of bringing out the sacred aspects of Yoga through chanting, guided meditation, inspirational readings and detailed alignment in her empowering Vinyasa style classes.
Julie began her teaching career in 2008 while living in Atenas, Costa Rica where her clients were retirees seeking increased strength, flexibility and balance through simple Hatha Yoga. She enjoys working with students who have issues with weight, long term injuries, past surgeries, aging and any other challenges that may discourage them from having a yoga practice. Her philosophy is that anyone who can breathe can do yoga. Julie’s classes focus on listening to the wisdom of the body, working through each body part to find limitations and abilities before putting it all together into simple Hatha poses. She uses a sense of humor to encourage her students to lovingly accept where they are in their bodies while letting go of judgment and criticism of themselves in their practice and their lives. She received her 200-hour Alliance Yoga certification in Longmont, Colorado at Full Circle Yoga in 2013. Her passionate belief that yoga can positively change our mental outlook and physical health regardless of age, weight, and athleticism encourages students of all abilities to embrace a lifetime commitment to yoga.
Danika Gilbert discovered yoga in 1996 while working on her master’s thesis in Seattle, WA. She credits a gentle Hatha yoga practice as helping “keep her sane” during a tedious thesis writing process. Those classes also became a refuge for her during the long rainy PNW winters. Her personal practice has ebbed and flowed over the years, with many different styles and intensities. In 2004, Danika started to practice again more regularly as a way to offset the tightening of her body from the rigors of daily mountain guide work. For 13 years, the Ridgway yoga community has been essential to helping Danika maintain balance in her life, between guiding and international travel. In 2016, she embarked on her first yoga teacher training, a 200hr Shiva Rea Prana Vinyasa at the Ridgway Yoga Shala with Monica Mesa and Katie Graves. Initially, she was intending to use her new knowledge primarily to help the young women in Afghanistan she’s training to climb mountains, but Danika found she truly enjoys teaching yoga and wants to share with our community. For her, it’s important that we all live from our hearts, with compassion and kindness for others.
Stephanie was first introduced to yoga when she moved to the Western Slope over 15 years ago. After a gradual start with many styles, she has come to love every aspect of yoga- both on and off the mat! This strong connection lead to the next step- embracing a 200 hour Yoga Alliance Teacher training with Monica Mesa and Katie Graves in the Shiva Rea Prana Vinyasa. Her classes are a graceful balance of physical challenge and appreciation for the mind balance on on the mat that embrace the flow of Vinyasa styling. She welcomes the gift of being able to help others find their path with yoga, and is honored to be a part of such a wonderful tribe at RYS. When not on the mat, she cherishes taking in the beauty of the mountains whether it is on on skis, a bike or her feet hiking up a mountain. But her greatest joy is time with her two beautiful girls, truly the most amazing gifts in her life!
Elisabeth began practicing yoga in 1998 and instantly fell in love with the moving meditation to music. After ballet dancing as a child, graduating from a fine arts high school, performing with a company and then competing in triathlon for over 25 years, yoga provided a welcomed discovery of healing movement without judgement of self or others. Though she has experienced many styles of yoga, Vinyasa has become her favorite, completing the 200 hour Prana Vinyasa training from Shiva Rea in 2017 at Yoga Shala with Monica Mesa Dasi and Katie Graves as instructors. Since 2008, Elisabeth has taught yoga in worksite wellness programs and to triathletes for injury prevention and recovery. A former physical therapy aide, veterinarian and now health department director, Elisabeth weaves her understanding of anatomy, physiology, creative arts, health, and wellness into her Vinyasa classes with inspirational music and singing bowls to assist in clearing the mind and opening the spirit to healing.